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UPDATE: NC Refuses to Repeal HB2

The North Carolina General Assembly has abandoned efforts to repeal HB2, a common sense law that protects the privacy rights and safety of women and children.

The state legislature’s refusal to repeal HB2 comes just days after the public learned that a deal had been struck between the North Carolina General Assembly and the City of Charlotte.

Under the conditions of the deal, the City of Charlotte had agreed to repeal its controversial local ordinance requiring business owners, schools, and other places of public accommodations to allow biological men to use the same locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms as females, provided that the state repeal HB2.

However, while the ink on the deal was still drying, the Charlotte City Council made clear its intention to violate the spirit of the deal by allowing for the possibility of reenacting the city ordinance after the state legislature would have repealed HB2.  The resolution adopted by the City Council states,

“Whereas, in the event that the North Carolina General Assembly grants or restores the authority of the City to enact ordinances on the matters that were subject of the preempted and invalidated ordinances, the City Council could enact new ordinances.”

Thankfully, the North Carolina legislature recognized the deal’s faults and decided to stand with the state’s families and businesses.

HB2 protects the privacy rights of women and children in schools and other government buildings by requiring that individuals use only restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their biological sex.

HB2 also allows private businesses to set the policies for bathrooms and showers in their buildings by preventing local cities from enacting ordinances that violate the rights of business owners.  Likewise, under HB2, business owners who disagree with the notion of sex-segregated bathrooms and showers can still allow biological males to use female facilities.

Unfortunately, many other cities and states (including Washington State) still require schools and businesses to allow biological men to share bathrooms and showers with women.

Sex Offender Led North Carolina LGBT Bathroom Ordinance Efforts

 

In late 2015, the Washington State Human Rights Commission quietly put forward a new rule requiring all public establishments to grant locker room, shower, and bathroom access to any individual, at any time, regardless of that individual’s biological realities.  The rule, which also curbed concerned citizens’ legal ability to ask “unwelcome questions” of an individual if they felt uncomfortable, has since been attempted in various forms and fashions in cities and states across the country.

When the Charlotte, N.C. City Council passed their version of the open-facilities ordinance earlier this year, the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce led the charge to make it happen.

And leading the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce was convicted sex-offender Chad Sevearance-Turner.

The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported that Chad Sevearance-Turner had been a youth minister at a church in Gaffney, South Carolina.  Sevearance-Turner was charged and convicted for “committing or attempting a lewd act upon a child under 16,” after taking advantage of a teenage church member while the child slept.

He recently resigned from the LGBT Chamber of Commerce after his record as a sex-offender surfaced.

While we know that not every person in gender transition is a sex offender, acting as though sex offenders do not exist in the LGBT ranks is an ignorant mistake.

In January, FPIW reported the story of Johanna Wolf, a Washington-based transgender activist and very vocal supporter of our Washington’s open-locker rooms policy.  Wolf, prior to claiming womanhood and changing names, was known as Jonathan Adrian Wolf.

Jonathan Adrian Wolf was charged and convicted for the rape of a minor female in Nebraska in 2006.

By virtue of involvement in the efforts to keep Washington’s open-bathroom rule in place, sex offenders like Wolf want unmitigated access to women’s locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms.

After being convicted of raping women.

Sex predators are always on the lookout for an easy, low-risk opportunity to take advantage of victims, and we must not provide it to them.

Washingtonians have known from the beginning that this rule would only bring harm to innocent people. The University of Toronto, one of the first institutions to put this sort of policy in place, completely reversed its decision after biologically male students were caught “holding their cellphones over female students’ shower stalls and filming them as they showered.”

Not taking into account the damages that the loss of privacy causes, people of both sexes deserve better than to wonder if the man dressed in a dress is there for legitimate purposes or if they are there to take photos of them showering over the stall.

Locker rooms, showers, and bathroom facilities exist to protect privacy during vulnerable times.  They should not be the laboratory for a social experiment gone awry.

If you’re on board with FPIW and maintaining sanity on issues like this, please consider amplifying that message by partnering with us financially.

How You Can Help in North Carolina

 

Common sense can get you in a lot of trouble these days!

Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina is under a lot of pressure from activists on the left — all because he signed a bill into law that protects women and children from being forced to share bathrooms with men. The widely-supported N.C. law stops men from going into women’s restrooms, showers, and locker rooms, and it stopped a dangerous bathroom ordinance in Charlotte — similar to the law Houston voters resoundingly defeated at the polls last year — from going into effect.

In response, the Governors of WashingtonNew York, and Connecticut have banned state travel to North Carolina, and the NBA has threatened to move the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte.

Right now, it is important to join with our friends in North Carolina, and to honor Governor Pat McCrory for doing the right thing.

Check out Governor McCrory’s strong stand for common sense when it comes to bathrooms: (Watch here)

Will you join common sense conservatives across the country as we support and thank Governor McCrory?

Here’s how you can quickly and easily help us thank Governor McCrory:

  1. Call his officeto say ‘THANK YOU!’ for signing a common-sense privacy bill into law: 919-814-2000
  2. Send a ‘Thank You’ Postcard! People in every state are coming together to send thank you postcards to North Carolina Governor McCrory. It’s really easy to send. Just go to CitizenLink’s Action Center and fill out the form for the back of the postcard. Tell Gov. McCrory that any state that stands up for safety and privacy is a state you want to visit. We’ve included a sample message for convenience.  CLICK HERE to send your thank you postcard!
  3. Send Gov. McCrory a FB messageHERE to let him know that you and your family stand with NC!
  4. Tweet a thank youto him: Thanks @PatMcCroryNC for protecting safety & privacy in your state! Can’t wait to visit! CLICK HERE to send this tweet.

Thank you for standing with us, and with our friends in North Carolina! 

Seattle Police Arrest Man in Wig for Voyeurism and Indecent Exposure

The Seattle Police Department last month arrested a 33-year old suspect for indecent exposure and voyeurism in the Miller Park neighborhood, after victims told police a man had exposed himself and chased after them with a hand down his pants.  One woman said he was wearing a wig and denim-cutoff shorts.
The suspect told police, after his arrest, that he identifies as a woman.
The Seattle Police Department announced after the arrest that they had “booked her [emphasis added] into the King County Jail,” further fueling speculation that the suspect had been admitted into a women’s section of the King County Jail — immediately after being accused of six separate sex-crimes against women.
These incidents have added yet another level to the list of concerns brought forth by opponents of the state’s new open-locker room policy.  The policy, which went into effect in November, mandates that schools, businesses, and other “public accommodations” grant complete access to public showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms based on the way an individual claims to identify rather than their biological sex and anatomical state.

This case has also reinforced the concern that sex predators may claim to suffer from gender dysphoria to either gain access to private places or in an effort to receive reduced sentences for their crimes.  Women’s prison sentences are, on average, 63 percent shorter than men’s, based upon convictions for the same crimes.

“The concern, of course, is not that all transgendered people are sex predators, but that the bathroom rule doesn’t allow us to keep people like this suspect from being able to prey on women in private places,” said Zach Freeman, Director of Communications for the Family Policy Institute of Washington.  “Yes, he got arrested, but the damage to these women has already been done. We really need to focus on stopping this assault on women going forward.”

This new case comes just a week after it was revealed that one of the more vocal proponents of the open-locker rooms rule living in Seattle is previously a registered sex-offender in Nebraska — a felon, convicted of sex crimes against a woman, before moving to Washington, changing his name, and presenting as a woman.

The Just Want Privacy campaign has been launched to repeal the dangerous open-locker rooms rule.  Check out their website for more information on how you can join the effort to keep women and children safe.  

American College of Pediatricians Blasts Gender Fluidity Activism

The Florida-based American College of Pediatricians has released a statement that urges lawmakers, educators, and citizens around the United States to reject the normalizing of surgical or chemical impersonation of the opposite sex to children.

This statement comes on the heels of efforts by activists in several states to normalize and promote a concept of gender fluidity — where an individual can change their gender identity and presentation, without regard for biological realities.

The statement makes eight points, affirming the belief of many in the medical community that the social experiment of gender fluidity is not, in fact, a scientific truth, but rather a state of confusion and willful ignorance of biological reality.

  1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.
  2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.
  3. A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.
  4. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.
  5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.
  6. Children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.
  7. Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT – affirming countries.
  8. Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.

You can read the rest of the statement here, and leave your comments below.

Convicted sex offender seeks access to women’s locker rooms through bathroom law

 

The battle over the Washington bathroom rule repeal just got a whole lot more interesting.

Transgender activists have sounded off in recent weeks claiming that they are being unfairly characterized by those concerned about locker room privacy and safety following the launch of the Just Want Privacy campaign.  Proponents of repealing the open bathroom rule have repeatedly said that their concern is not that the transgender community is going to harm women and children, but that it creates opportunity for those who would seek access to places they don’t belong.

Much of this debate has taken place in social media.

Seattle-based transgender rights activist Johanna Wolf has been among the most vitriolic in her responses to privacy activists, claiming that it’s only their “hatred” and “bigotry” that is trying to keep her and others out of the locker rooms and showers.

Recently we have discovered that Johanna used to be a man, Jonathan Adrian Wolf, who is a sex-offender convicted of raping a 20-year old deaf girl in Nebraska in 2006.

Why is this relevant?

Because a sex-offender is now seeking access to a woman’s locker room through this open bathroom policy.

Wolf, now identifying as a woman (view the name change document here), appears to be shocked and offended that people in Washington want to take away “her” rights to use the locker room and shower of “her” choice (caution: strong language):

johanna

Obviously, it remains true that not everyone who experiences gender dysphoria is a sex-offender or wanting to do harm.

But the fact is, this new rule would create liability for businesses who would seek to intervene in cases like this.

Despite maintaining residency in the Seattle-area, Wolf does not currently appear as a registered sex offender in the online sex-offender registry operated by the Washington State Department of Corrections or the database operated by King County.

There are already many cases of men impersonating transgender women to gain access to private places.  Now we know there are convicted sex offenders seeking access to women’s bathrooms under the same rationale.

Just in case you needed another reason to be concerned about this new bathroom rule, now you have one.

Let us know what you think about this in the comments section, below.

Step-by-Step Timeline: How We Got the Bathroom Rule

 

How did this happen, exactly?

That’s the question thousands of Washingtonians are asking themselves after the Human Rights Commission unilaterally introduced a new statewide mandate that forces businesses and schools to modify their policies to allow men into the women’s facilities.  The measure, which was aiming at blocking discrimination towards transgendered people, requires “public accommodations” to open up their showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms based on the way someone claims to identify internally, rather than what their anatomy and DNA would show.

So exactly how and when did this process start?

April 16, 2012: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) files WSR 12-09-050, a “Preproposal Statement of Inquiry” with the Washington Code Reviser’s office.  This document outlines the commission’s goals to begin the rule making process. Claiming that the 2006 Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) was too ambiguous on the issue of gender identity, they felt it within the bounds of their authority to create a rule to clarify it.  This legally-binding rule would not be subject to legislative approval.

May 24, 2012: The Human Rights Commission holds a “public work group” in Pasco, Washington, aimed at gathering public input on this topic.  The notice that was published with the Washington Code Reviser’s office for this public meeting, however, was May 23rd.  Later, Commission Chair Steve Hunt expressed his disappointment in regards to the lack of attendance for this meeting in Pasco.

June 6, 2012: The Human Rights Commission holds similar workgroup meetings in Olympia and Spokane.  Then-Commissioner Shawn Murinko stated during the HRC’s June Commission meeting that the work groups were “not well attended by policy makers and stakeholders.”

June 20, 2012: The Human Rights Commission holds its final input-gathering workgroup in Seattle, which Commission Chair Steve Hunt also categorized as lightly attended, while absolving the Commission of any fault for the lack of attendance during their June commission meeting.

June 24, 2015: The Human Rights Commission holds a final forum (also not well-attended) for public comment at the Oasis Youth Center in Tacoma, Washington. The Oasis Youth Center is a care facility that provides services specifically for local LGBT youth; their motto is “where queer youth thrive.”

At this point, it is important to note that the Human Rights Commission has openly admitted in their meeting minutes that they have not received sufficient public input by acknowledging that policy makers and stakeholders were not present at the work groups.  Despite this, they moved forward in implementing WAC 162-32.

November 25, 2015: After receiving almost no public input, the Human Rights Commission approves the open-bathroom rule and files it with the Code Reviser’s office. The Commission’s approval makes the rule tantamount to state law, and is set to go into effect December 26th, 2015.

December 26, 2015: The Human Rights Commission’s WAC 162-32 rule officially goes into effect. The press is slow to cover the Commission’s new rule, and many Washingtonians remain unaware that men are now allowed into women’s public restroom and locker room facilities statewide.

December 29th, 2015: FPIW first reports on the new HRC Rule.

January 11, 2016: A petition is launched urging the legislature to repeal the bathroom rule.

January 15, 2016: In response to growing concerns about the Human Rights Commission’s bathroom rule, members of the Washington State House of Representative introduce HB 2589, which would repeal the new rule. The bill gains the sponsorship of over 35 legislators in the House, but House Judiciary Committee Chair Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma), refuses to allow her committee to hear the bill, effectively killing its ability to become law.

January 20, 2016: The Washington State Senate follows the lead of legislators in the House and introduces its own bill, SB 6443, to repeal the Commission’s open-bathroom rule. The Bill gains the co-sponsorship of 14 Senators upon introduction, and a hearing is set for January 27, 2016.

January 22, 2016: Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sharon Ortiz testifies before the House General Government and Information Technology Committee and affirms that none of the public work groups related to the bathroom rule making process were well-attended.  Further, she claims that budget cuts were the reason that the group waited over two years to make rules using the input gathered in the 2012 work groups, and also claims that the Human Rights Commission hasn’t been able to publish any of their activities online because they don’t have access to their website.  You can watch that exchange here.

January 27, 2016: The Washington State Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor holds a public hearing on SB 6443 in Olympia. Hundreds of concerned citizens travel to Olympia to attend the hearing and give testimony. After the hearing, the Senate’s Commerce & Labor Committee votes in favor of the bill, sending it to the Senate Rules Committee.

February 2, 2016: 10,000 people have signed a petition to the Washington Legislature to repeal the bathroom rule.

February 10, 2016: The Washington State Senate pulls SB 6443 from the Rules Committee to a floor vote.  After nearly an hour of debate, the Senate votes against SB 6443 by a vote of 25-24.  With this action, the Senate effectively kills the bill’s chances to become law, as well as the legislature’s ability to repeal the open-bathroom rule.  You can see who voted against the bill here.

February 15, 2016: Concerned citizens from Kitsap and Pierce Counties organize a rally at the Capitol in Olympia demanding that the legislature revive and prioritize the effort to repeal the bathroom rule.

February 17, 2016: The Just Want Privacy Campaign is announced, which aims to repeal the Human Rights Commission’s Bathroom Rule by way of initiative process in the November 2016 election.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in the repeal effort, you can contact the Just Want Privacy Campaign.

Breaking News: WA Senate Kills Efforts to Repeal Open-Bathroom Rule

 

Update: 3:35pm PST

The Washington State Senate has voted against passage of SB 6443, a bill that would have repealed the Human Rights Commission’s dangerous open-bathroom rule, by a vote of 25-24.

Three Republicans voted alongside Democrats to kill this bill: Senator Joe Fain, Senator Steve Litzow, and Senator Andy Hill. Senator Jim Hargrove and Senator Tim Sheldon broke ranks with their fellow Democrats and voted for the bill.

Update: 3:47pm PST

Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, has released this statement in regards to the Washington Senate’s action to kill SB 6443:

“Today, the Washington State Senate voted to repeal the right to privacy that every person in Washington State has long expected in locker rooms and bathrooms.  In doing so, they have created legal protections for those who would access private spaces to do harm.  They have also created significant liability for businesses and schools who would try to protect students and customers.

The public understands that common sense and compassion are not in conflict, but in a political environment simple truths are sometimes lost.”

For press availability for Mr. Backholm, please contact FPIW’s offices at (425) 608-0242.

Stay tuned for more information throughout the day.

Update: 4:44pm PST

You can view a list of the Senators who voted for and against this bill by clicking here.  FPIW is urging concerned citizens to contact their Senators to share your thoughts about this vote and ask those who voted ‘NO’ to reconsider.

 

Senate Committee Passes Bathroom Rule Repeal, Sex-Selective Abortion Ban

 

FPIW Legislative Update | Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 9:29pm PST

The Senate Law and Justice Committee will pass SB 6548*, a bill that clarifies the Washington Civil Rights Act, effectively repealing the Human Rights Commission’s open-bathroom rule, and SB 6612, a bill to ban sex-selective abortions.

These bills will now head to consideration by the Senate Rules Committee and must be approved for a floor vote by that committee before they are eligible to be voted on by all Senate members.

Please contact your legislators to let them know your thoughts on these two important issues.

*SB 6548 is expected to officially pass on Thursday, following receipt of a formal signature from a member who was excused from the hearing tonight. That member is expected to recommend passage.

The HRC Tries to Explain the Bathroom Rule…and Fails.

The Washington State Human Rights Commission is in damage control mode.  About a month after a rule allowing access to bathrooms based on gender identity and gender expression, the public is still outraged.

Legislative offices have reported receiving as many as a thousand phone calls and emails about the issue and as a result three bills have been introduced in an attempt to fix the problem. While the sponsors of these bills are all Republicans, conversations around the capitol show that concern about the implications of this new rule are definitely bi-partisan.

Earlier this week, somewhere between 500 and 800 people showed up at the Capitol for a public hearing on the issue, the vast majority of which were in support of legislation to nullify the HRC’s rule.

The public outrage has led the HRC to create Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.  While the document represents a noble attempt to make the rules seem reasonable, the information it provides is not accurate.

For example, the FAQ document says:

The rules include a provision that transgender individuals cannot be required to use a gender segregated facility that is inconsistent with their gender identity.  The rules do not give protections to anyone who accesses gender segregated facilities under false pretense, nor do the rules protect anyone who acts in an illegal or inappropriate manner.

The issue that everyone except the members of the HRC seem to understand is that, since trans-genderism is a legal status that depends entirely on the feelings of the person involved, it is impossible to prove whether someone has false or true pretenses.

When Taylor Buehler was arrested inside a woman’s locker room at Everett Community College, he was arrested for voyeurism; for simply being present in a place where he did not belong.  He was also wearing a bra and wig.  If Taylor Buehler went into the women’s locker room at Everett Community College today, he would have a legal right to be present.

Don’t you dare try to make a legally meaningful difference between the two.

The entire purpose of the transgender movement is to eliminate a legal standard for what it means to be anything.

This is exactly the point the HRC makes only a few sentences later.

The definition in the law does not limit protections to persons who have certain anatomical characteristics, who have had gender reassignment surgery, or who have undergone any other medical treatment.

So how are you supposed to know whether someone is acting under “false pretenses” or not? You’re not.

Then they attempt to deal with the sharpest criticism of the new rule.

Q:        Can men now go into women’s bathrooms or locker rooms?

A:        No.  Only females can go into women’s bathrooms or locker rooms in a gender segregated situation.  This includes transgender females who identify as female.  The rules do not protect persons who go into a restroom or locker room under false pretenses.  For example, if a man declares himself to be transgender for the sole purpose of entering a women’s restroom or locker room, then the rule would not protect him.

Here we encounter the same problem.

What is the difference between a transgender female and a male?  The thoughts in his head.  How exactly is law enforcement going to prove that someone doesn’t feel female?  They aren’t.

But it gets even better.  In an attempt to provide clarity for businesses who want to know if someone is “legitimately” transgender or “just pretending”, the FAQ document says this:

The rules do not prohibit asking legitimate questions about a person’s presence in a gender segregated facility.  It is suggested that these questions be asked in a polite and non-confrontational manner.

This sounds reasonable.  The only problem is that the rule they actually passed says this:

(2) Prohibited conduct. Prohibited conduct may include, but is not limited to, the following: (a) Asking unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, transgender status, or sex assigned at birth;

So…you are prohibited from asking “unwelcome personal questions” but apparently they’re ok with you asking “legitimate questions.”

Clear as mud.

Washington businesses can rest comfortably knowing that your liability will rest on a court’s determination of whether your question was “unwelcome” or “legitimate.”  Meanwhile, the rest of the world points out the fact that a question can be both legitimate and unwelcome.

They go on to assure businesses that…

In addition, it is extremely unlikely that someone who is pretending to be transgender, and who is ejected from a facility, will take the steps of filing a complaint or a lawsuit against that facility.

Clearly the members of the HRC have never met a lawyer before.  If your client is caught in the bathroom with a bra and wig and charged with voyeurism or indecent exposure, any last-in-his-law-school-class public defender will be able to argue that his presence in the girls locker room was lawful because he was “expressing” as a female. “Your honor,” says the lawyer as he picks up the HRC rule, “says right here in black and white. He had a right to be there.”

Filing the complaint against the business to show just how offended the defendant was for the “unwelcome questions” will be the cherry on top.

The irony is that the first time this happens, the very people on the Human Rights Commission who are today assuring businesses that this can never happen could be reprimanding the business involved for their intolerance and their rush to judgment.

But it gets worse.   Regarding those who might “pretend” to be transgender, the FAQ document goes on to say…

If they do so, then the investigation conducted by an enforcement agency will uncover the fact that the person was not being honest about their status, and thus is not protected under the law against discrimination.  Any individual who fraudulently claims to be transgender for the purpose of entering a gender segregated facility in order to engage in illegal activity may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

So…you can’t enjoy the privileges of being transgender unless you actually are transgender?  Have we learned nothing?  Clearly, the HRC is intolerant of the trans-transgender.  You know, those who identify as transgender but actually aren’t.

Apparently male and female are completely fluid concepts, but transgenderism is a title given only to the qualified.

What about the potential for increased crime in locker rooms?  According to their FAQ document…

This rule does not protect behavior that is criminal or inappropriate.  Anyone, regardless of their transgender status, who is behaving inappropriately in a restroom or locker room, can be required to leave.  Law enforcement should be called whenever criminal behavior is observed or suspected.

The problem is, that many people think “behaving inappropriately” extends to people with a penis who undress in the women’s locker room.  Until this rule was adopted, the police would have been able to intervene if that were happening.

But not now.

With the new HRC rules, simply exposing yourself or watching others undress is now a protected activity.

But there’s more from the FAQ document:

Q. Did people have an opportunity to provide input before the rules were put into place?

A. Yes.  The process for agency rule-making is set out in the law, and the Human Rights Commission followed this process….During the public comment period, not a single objection or fear was raised about the issue of transgender individuals using the gender segregated facility with which they identify.

The only possible explanation for the fact that no concerns were raised is that, regardless of what was posted on an obscure website, the public did not have a real opportunity to provide input.  Or if they did, they were not aware of it.

In their attempt to answer frequently asked questions, the HRC is saying, “Don’t look at what we wrote, look at what we meant.”

Unfortunately for them, Guttenberg did invent the printing press and most of us learned how to read.

If they want the words to mean something else, they need to write different words.  Or, maybe the rule is “trans-reasonable” and it only appears to be crazy.

Yeah, that’s it.  Everyone move along.

You can call your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email a message to all your legislators by clicking here.